Sunday, August 26, 2012

LWH - Week 7 : Mabul Island - Tawau

Sat 18 August - P Mabul - Nr Baluk River
04 17.319N / 118 14.206E
Today is Hari Raya - like our Christmas. The weather held and we had a very comfortable night but we had heard a few grumblings from the anchor chain and were a bit afraid we were on reef. We tossed up whether to stay another day or go so we decided to head down to another couple of reefs to see if they were any good. We were heading in to Horn Reef but there was no land around and the reef was under the water and we both looked at each other and said even if it was fantastic reef we would not be game to jump in in the middle of the ocean! So we kept going and motored in oily calm waters to Roach Reef where there was purported to be a buoy. Roach Reef apparently was just a sandspit but someone has put barriers all around it and filled it with dirt/rocks to build it up into an island and built some cottages. It doesn't look finished yet. The buoy wasn't there and we could have anchored in 17m but it was too close to the reef if a storm blew up. So we left there and anchored in 4m off the mainland at 2pm. It was very hot. We plan to go back to Roach Reef tomorrow for the day
Miles: 8 TTT: 639

Sunday 19 August - Nr Baluk River
Well what a difference a day makes. It was overcast and we could see rain over Mabul, Roach Reef and Tawau so we had a boat day. We decided that we hadn't been terribly comfortable trying to anchor at Roach. We didn't know if there was a floating line from the missing buoy and what it was anchored to and it was very close the reef so we didn't feel bad about it.

Monday 20 August - Baluk River - Tawau
04 15.007N / 117 52.444E
We left after Rubicon Star called us up on the HF radio at 7am heading towards Tawau. Seems there are ten boats only one or two days behind us. Their original plan had been not to leave till September hence thats why we were ahead as we wanted to go a week or more before that. But they have all decided to do Sail Moratai now and will have to move quickly to be there by 12 September. They get their CAIT fee refunded (~$200) and 100 litres of free fuel for doing it. But we have looked at it and do not want to have to be on a timeframe and hurry through and do the extra miles. There are hundreds of huge big fish trap structures with little huts on top of each along the way here. We checked them on the radar last night and they do show up so thats heartening. We motored for ages and had a 2.5 knot current against us so it took forever to get to Tawau. We could see the stilt villages on the foreshore and a huge mosque. It looks a really interesting town. It is a very low tide so we have anchored in 3.5m off the yacht club. There is one other yacht here - a yellow one called Amber Nectar. We walked into town but most of the shops were closed and there were heaps of people around all dressed in their best clothes. Today is the second day of Hari Raya. We finally found a restaurant that was open and had dinner. On the way back we noticed lots of tables being set up and we figured we had been a bit too early for eating.
Miles: 27 TTT: 646

Tuesday 21 August - Tawau
We tried to find Mr Tan, the manager at the Yacht Club but he was still on holidays so we managed to phone him to organise some fuel for tomorrow. We walked all round town - the generator shops were closed but the shoe shops were open so the crew bought another two pairs of shoes. We chatted to a couple of locals of Chinese descent and they were really lovely. We came back to the Yacht Club in the afternoon and chatted to another Chinese man who told us we should use the gym upstairs. This is a pretty good club with swimming pool, gym, sauna, tennis courts, all of which we could use. We watched the first of the rally boats come in. Of course the big catamarans were the first ones in. We had a lovely meal in the restaurant - there is no menu - the chef just cooks you up anything you want. There are some rather large monitor lizards hanging around the rocks near the kitchen.

Wednesday 22 August - Tawau
We finally caught up with lovely Mr Tan who phoned his brother who came with his ute to do the fuel run. The tide was very low and the boat ramp very slippery so the skipper only took one load of fuel out - it is a 2.8m tide. We took the other load out later in the evening. We went to town and checked out with the Harbour Master and Customs and went to immigration but the lovely lady there who was the big boss wouldn't check us out because we said we weren't leaving till Friday. We pointed out that our visa was running out but she said that was ok come back tomorrow. We had a roti telur for lunch and then went looking at generators as our old one doesn't want to work. The skipper finally got it so it starts really easy but it doesn't put in any charge. We found one for 450RM and the shopkeeper immediately bargained it down to 300RM. Its certainly something when they bargain themselves down! So for $100 we have another (Chinese) genny. We caught a taxi back and had another lovely shower at the pool and had dinner with a lot of people.

Thursday 23 August - Tawau
It seems everyone left early to go get their Indonesian visas (which took them most of the day). The skipper did the water run and then we went to Immigration and saw our lovely lady and she checked us out so we are good to go. We went for another roti but he forgot to put the egg on it so we had another one! Yum. We went to the market and bought our fruit and veges then the skipper took his sewing machine over to Rubicon Star to help them repair their ripped sail and then we went in for a shower and dinner. The group at dinner has grown rather large.

Friday 24 August - Tawau
Well here we sit with 14 boats around us, seven of which are cats. I guess we will be travelling loosely in company. The skipper ran the new genny all day giving the batteries a really good boost and the crew went shopping. We went ashore in the afternoon for the Sail Moratai briefing and heard nothing which changed our minds. In fact it convinced us more than ever that it is not for us. Then a bus picked us all up to take us to the rally dinner which apparently was just a five minute walk away. The dinner, which was hosted by the Tawau Town Board, was a steamboat which wasn't really our cup of tea but they also had other food so we got a good feed. The bus was brand new and still had the plastic on the seats but somehow one skipper managed to break his seat! We had a farewell drink back at the Yacht Club because some people had drink vouchers to use up. (you have to buy vouchers to buy drinks).
There are no photos as these missives will now be sent in by sailmail over the HF radio as we have no internet. We are currently doing the big crossing (2 days and 2 nights) across to Sulawesi - will report on that next week. Meanwhile everyone stay safe.
Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

LWH – Week 6 : Tungku – Mabul Island

Sat 11 August – Tungku – Pulau Gaya
04⁰42.526N / 118⁰46.274E
We had a lovely calm night which was a pleasant surprise. The call to prayer came at 4.40am. We had five minutes of heavy rain then upanchored at 6.20am under heavy skies. The sea was like glass for a time then we had a breeze and motor sailed. Pulau Gaya is a half horseshoe shaped island of large karsts covered in trees. The other half of the horseshoe is reef but you cant see it. As we were coming in we could see beautiful islands with white sand beaches and aqua water and the whole place looked beautiful. A real wow factor. We anchored off a small island with a stilt village on the other side. There are actually lots of stilt villages around – built on the reefs. We anchored at 11.45 in lovely coloured water but there was lots of rubbish . This cleared later in the afternoon and it was quite pleasant but when the wind came up a lot of rubbish washed through – seems to have come in waves! Paradise interrupted!! The sun had a full halo round it today. We watched some huge electrical storms out the back of the boat and were grateful we weren’t in them. But at 1am a squall went through with very strong winds and the skipper had to do anchor watch for 1 ½ hours.

Sun 12 August – Pulau Gaya
It was a lovely morning and the water was so clear we could see the white sand bottom. A fisherman in a dugout canoe came by and wanted a light for his cigarette so we gave him a lighter. He tried to return it but we told him to keep it. Other than that no visitors and we had a quiet day enjoying the scenery but in the afternoon a strong breeze blew up and it is very exposed here.

Mon 13 August – Palau Gaya
Happy Birthday Maureen
Still very windy and though it was very pretty and the water a lovely colour the rubbish started drifting in around 10.30. The crew read a whole book today – The Crying of the Wind by Charles Gidley (appropriate title don’t you think!!). It was very good.

Tues 14 August – P Gaya – Nth Semporna Channel
04⁰31.608N / 118⁰33.630E
A big wind came up early this morning and it was overcast. We could see another yacht anchored over the way and wondered who it was. We had a quick swim and motor sailed with a pretty brisk breeze past some lovely islands and past Semporna and its rubbish and anchored close to shore in a sheltered position in 14m. There was a ring around the sun again today. Had a peaceful afternoon and calm evening.

Wed 15 August – Sth Semporna – Nth Semporna Channel
04⁰21.670N / 118⁰33.427E
Had such a wonderful calm night and left at 9.30 to catch the favourable current through the Semporna Channel. As we came around towards the Channel we found that it was actually quite windy. There was quite a lot of rubbish in the water. We went past a Maritime Malaysia boat and a police boat. Semporna is the jump off point for visiting the outer reefs including Sipadan which was said by Jaques Costeau to be the best in the world. So Semporna is a thriving place and looked incredibly interesting and we would have loved to stop but there is nowhere to anchor – lots of reef and very busy. It has the new with the old look about it with stilt villages built all along the foreshores on the reefs. We had a 2 knot current with us and would have hated to have done it with current against us. We passed three tugs towing barges about 300 metres behind them. It was interesting that going into the channel we had the green buoys to starboard and when we got past the town it changed so we had the red buoys to starboard. It was pretty clear where the reefs were though. It was very pretty but as we came further up the channel the winds increased on the nose which put wind against current and the waves bucked up a bit. We anchored just behind the headland and reef and given the wind strength it is surprisingly comfortable.
Miles: 17 TTT: 622

Thurs 16 August – Sth Semporna Channel
Too windy to go out to the island so stayed. Wind dropped off in the afternoon and we watched frigate birds (they look quite prehistoric) just cruise in and pick up little fish which are foolishly jumping all over the surface. This could possibly be because bigger fish are feeding on them from below! Caught between a rock and a hard place. The crew has lost her adversity to eating fresh fish because if she doesn’t eat them they will just eat some other smaller fish! Had the most comfortable night.

Fri 17 August – Semporna Channel – Mabul Island
04⁰15.120N / 118⁰37.938E
It was a bit cloudy but no wind and we finally managed to talk to Braveheart on the HF radio. We upanchored out of good holding thick mud. The skipper said we were going nowhere! It is so strange to see whole villages looking like they are perched in the middle of the ocean – but of course they are built on reef. We motored across to Mabul Island and anchored at 10am. We anchored between the oil rig (which has been converted to a resort) and the island in 18m going back to 14m but the depths were all over the place. There are five jetties coming off the island and they all have their areas partitioned off with little white buoys. As soon as we anchored two Chinese girls came out in their clear plastic canoe to ask about our boat – they couldn’t swim but were happy in their life jackets. They were quite amazed with the boat. We would have invited them onboard but weren’t sure about their ability to get in and out of the canoe. Then a Chinese couple came out – she goes to Canberra University in China (and there is a Curtin Uni in Malaysia). She had a look below but he declined. We don’t they they like the movement of the boat! It is spring tide so super low and we could see only one place to get Bob ashore and thats where the little local boats went. We motored in then rowed over the reef and past the sea gypsies’ boat in which they were living and didn’t want to leave Bob in front of the sea gypsies’ extremely poor village so went under the jetty and pulled him up on a white sandy beach in front of a resort. This island is an enigma. There are about five resorts, a pretty standard village on the right which has a school and a mosque and a souvenir shop and the sea gypsies village for those that have moved ashore. These people are stateless and very poor and its right in the middle of all the resorts. It doesn’t seem right. Because it was a super low tide we could see all the rubbish – some islands should keep their secrets! Mind you the water was so clear we probably would have seen it anyway. We walked around the island – extensive reef around and walked out along a really rickety jetty to a homestay which is very basic accommodation but very clean and the food looked good – lots of European backpackers at $23 per night including meals. You could see the starfish in the water under the house. People come to Mabul to dive and also to dive Sipadan which we could see in the distance. We noticed three dives at Mabul was 250RM ($83) and three dives at Sipadan was 900RM ($300) I think thats right but don’t quote me!!! We watched some kids playing ‘marbles’ with coins and another kid had a stick with half a thong and a wheel at the end and it went click click when he pushed it – so inventive! We had a quick squiz at a couple of the resorts then went back to the boat. The tide was coming in so we hung off the back of the boat and let the current take us. If we had let go we would have just about hit the mainland! We didn’t snorkel. People seemed to be snorkeling in front of the jetties and people seemed to be learning to scuba dive there also. Lots of tourist boats with heaps of tourists and the place left us with a funny feeling with this very poor village in the midst of it all. So much poverty in the middle of so much money! We just sat and watched all the comings and goings.
Miles: 9 TTT: 631

As I type this Amy is riding her first 100km for the Cancer Foundation – she has another 100km to do tomorrow. She has worked so hard for this and well done to her.
All the fluffy clouds look like Rosie!!
Love to all
Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter

Saturday, August 11, 2012

LWH - Week 5 : Sungai Tadian - Tungku

Saturday 4 July - Sng Tadian - Pulau Lankayan
06 32.973N / 117 42.165E
Well the weather held and we had quite a good night. A little rocky but no roll and calm in the morning. We left at 6.45 and headed towards the island we thought we should have anchored off but when we came out from the reef which had been protecting us it was quite rolly and would have not been good. We slipped through the reefs and shoals and picked up a mooring buoy at Lankayan Island. This island is an absolute paradise and there were more buoys than there were last year which was just as well as Haven was on one and Brother Wind came in later and picked one up too. The water is the most amazing aqua blue and the sand so white. We went to the turtle museum which we gave a cursory glance and thought later we should have spent some time there. We walked out to the restaurant which is an amazing building built out over the water with a big walkway out to it. The chalets along the beach look lovely and we walked around the island which is actually very small. The army had several bunker huts around the island and we had a chat with a soldier occupying one of them. This is close to the Filippino border and it was pleasing to see the security. We went for a snorkel. The island has been managed and protected since 1995 and the coral wasn't too bad. It was the best snorkel we have had in ages and there were heaps of fish. The crew saw what she thought was a diver and swam over there only to see the biggest trigger fish!! The skipper tangled with an attack nemo and then on the drop off we saw the biggest barracuda - it was as big as the crew!! We didn't know they grew that big and we also didn't know if they attacked and the size of his mouth and teeth was enough to make us take a hasty exit!! This island has a turtle conservation programme and later in the afternoon they released 152 hatchlings into the water. By all accounts it was something to see but we missed it as we were aboard. We wondered how many of the poor little things would survive with fish like the baraccuda waiting out there. The whole resort lit up like a Christmas tree all night and we had a lovely calm night.
Miles: 21 TTT: 375

Sunday 5 August - Pulua Lankayan - Sandakan
05 50.469N / 118 07.686E
We decided to go and left around 6.30 and had a lovely sail till 9.30 when we started motor sailing. We saw a huge brown ray leap out of the water. As we were coming in to Sandakan pushing a 2.2 knot current we saw a dead rat amidst all the rubbish in the water. We anchored at 5.30 - there were three other yachts there and Brother Wind came in after us. We moved everything off the deck which we could and cleared the cockpit and the skipper put 9 metres of chain and two locks around Freddy (mercury - outboard) and we stayed on board. We watched workers putting a pylon in just off shore. It rained. The mosque was talking and singing (chanting?) from practically the time we got there and was still going when we went to bed at 9.45 and we heard it again at 3am.
Miles: 50 TTT: 425

Monday 6 August - Sandakan
We did some computer work - fastest internet we have had! When we put Bob in to go ashore we found we were in the middle of a current line with all manner of debris and rubbish floating around us - yuk! Went to town around 10.30. It was very busy and they have a new shopping mall attached to the Sheraton. It makes the town look very modern when viewed from the boat but the town is the same. The shopping mall was supposed to open yesterday and then it was tomorrow - more shops not ready than ready. It was an overcast day - did some shopping then had a scrumptious lunch on the waterfront - we recognised our waitresses from last year. Called in to the fresh market then back to the boat. The skipper did a water run and then we stayed on board. Lots of boats going past and they all wave and shout and in one case threw us a kiss. Another boat had a near miss at hitting us. He had a big water tank in front of him and couldn't see. The skipper thinks he must have seen our mast and just missed us. Some of the big boats and fishing boats come pretty close but they are just curious and they generally give us the thumbs up. A fishing boat went out with their washing hanging at the top and the stench from the boat was horrific - cant imagine what the washing smelt like! It poured through the night and was quite windy.

Tuesday 7 August - Sandakan - Dewhurst Bay
05 38.178N / 118 35.886E
When we pulled up the anchor we did a Wavesweeper and had a huge metal piece of infrastructure hooked all around our anchor chain. Took a little bit of manouvering to get it off! Sandakan was badly bombed during the war and there is a lot of debris in the water. We left at 6.45 amid a very grey sky and did the radio sked at 7. It was high level cloud and everything just looked white for most of the day and it was actually cold - well chilly anyway! We had a wonderful sail for an hour or so but then we motor sailed. There were a few fishing boats out towing their nets so we stayed out of their way. We had two strikes on the line but the fish got away and third time lucky and the skipper pulled in a baraccuda. Had to haul it in as we needed the lure back. Braveheart texted us from Lankayan Island wanting a weather report so the skipper consulted the grib files and they talked on the HF radio. We came across the very calm bar into Dewhurst Bay which is where we headed up to the Kinabatangan River last year. The lowest we got to was 2 metres under the keel and we anchored at 3.20. Scrubby trees on either bank and fishing boats in front of us with a nice breeze. Lots of big logs floating in the water. There was a house or two on one bank and the fishing boats all went out fishing. We had wind against tide for quite a while swinging 180? from side to side and by the evening we weren't sure if we were dragging so we reanchored in the dark and went to bed. Earlier in the 6pm radio sked Cilantro advised that they had hit what they thought was a sea container floating just below the surface and damaged their rudder and would have to return to Kudat for repairs.
Miles: 43 TTT: 468

Wednesday 8 August - Dewhurst Bay - Tambisan Island
Happy Birthday Margaret
05 26.953N / 119 08.486E
Awoke to absolute stillness with no one else around. Sat and enjoyed the serenity and then did 7am sked when we found out that Cilantro had been visited by 9 army personnel at 11pm who wanted to see their passports and paperwork and asked for beer (which was not given). A very scary incident for them and today they are off back to Kudat to haul out for repairs to the rudder. We left after the sked around 7.30 and passed all the fishing boats coming back in. We went down to 1.4m under the keel. The sun was shining, a slight breeze - (on the nose) and the seas flat as we start on the section of our journey where we have not been before. Well at lunch time the wind came up on the nose but we had current with us which made the seas buck up a bit and we were really pushing it for two hours to get up around the island and into the channel. As we were coming in we thought we heard coastguard calling us so we answered and the skipper was asked all manner of questions including which country were we in. We later heard him calling Green Express and we suspect it was Coastguard Philippines!! Well now everyone knows we are here! We came in between the channel between the island and the mainland. The chartplotter was way out. We went down to 3m under the keel and anchored off the island at the end of a stilt fishing village and people seemed very friendly We could see an electrical storm at the other end of the island but it just missed us. It is very sheltered in here.
Miles: 40 TTT: 508

Thursday 9 August - Tambisan Island
We left just after 6 in beautiful conditions with current with us. We took a bit of a different track out and had a little bit more water. The skipper did his usual check only to find the bilge full of water so it was on with the bilge pump with the crew doing the manual pump while the skipper tried to find where the water was coming from - nothing scarier! We did the 7am sked and no one could hear us. We returned to Tambisan against the current, which had been so kind to us earlier We got back in and anchored thinking all sorts of terrible things. The skipper discovered the water was coming from the exhaust water lock. He pulled it out and there were two small holes which had rusted through so he put kneaded epoxy putty on the holes then a layer of epoxy filler over the whole base. So thank the Lord its good to go. Cilantro couldn't hear us on the sked so texted to see if we were alright - bless em. They have their fibre glasser on the job fixing the rudder and other damage and hope to be back in the water Saturday or Sunday. The skipper changed the microphone and it works much better now. Ended up being a boat day!! Lovely still quiet night.
Miles: 6 TTT: 514

Friday 10 August - Tambisan Island - Tungku
05 00.920N / 118 53.563E
We upanchored at 6. The crew is now pushing the chain down in the anchor locker as it comes up instead of the skipper running down to do it - don't know why we never thought of it before!! Motored out past the fishermen who all waved and one videoed us on his phone. We came out to a rising sun heading directly into the reflection of the sun and birds swirling about, lovely flat sea - beautiful. A rainbow refraction around the sun and clouds on the horizon. The skipper paranoidly checking checking checking - the crew feels better when he looks up and grins and gives the thumbs up! Bilge still dry!! We had over 2 knots of current with us and wind on the nose and the waves were up a bit as we rounded the tip - would hate to do that with the current against us. This was one leg we had not been looking forward to as we could see the Tawi Tawi Islands in the Philippines just twenty short miles away and they have been known to take people hostage. However, there was a surveillance plane and Malaysian warshisp there which made us feel much better and stopped the crew from looking very suspiciously at all the fishing boats!! It also stopped us from worrying about all our secrets we had blurted out on the radio to Coast Watch Philippines yesterday!!! We passed a tug towing a barge and behind the barge hanging off a line were five small fishing boats, one behind the other having a free ride! The skipper saw a yellow and black banded seasnake about two inches in diameter and 4 feet long and we saw a few huge turtles which dived as soon as they saw us. So they haven't all been eaten by the baraccuda! We motor sailed till 1pm when we turned the motor off and had the loveliest sail. As we were approaching where we were going to anchor - which is in the open off a beach - we pulled the sails in and started the motor only to find we weren't pumping water so we had to turn the motor off and put part of the headsail out again to sail to our anchorage then turn up into the wind, pull the sail in and drop the anchor (3pm). Turned out it was the impellor so the skipper changed that and we are all good again now. We are hoping the weather holds as we are very exposed here but it is a very pretty spot. The whole coast was really pretty except it is all oil palms the whole way down. What happened to the jungle and the animals and birds and bugs!! Passed lots of fishermen in tiny little boats a long way off shore. It was pretty rocky at first but then the wind started to die off and the seas calmed and we had a lovely calm night.
Miles: 49 TTT: 563

Well we hope our run of things going wrong is over. We are currently anchored in a little bit of paradise and will spend a few days here.
Happy Birthday to Pam - not sure when it is but know its soon! And all best wishes to Maureen for her birthday.
Calm seas and fair winds
Dell and Peter

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

LWH – Week 4 : Kudat- Sungai Tadian

Saturday 28 July Kudat
Thoughts with Amy and Pete today for their gig at the Tivoli.
Went to town for my haircut. Had the hair wash and they do a most amazing head massage – so worth it. Then the most meticulous hair cut I have ever had – turned out very well. The weather was getting quite windy and we were warned that it was going to blow up.

Sunday 29 July – Kudat
Very blowy – forecast 3m seas around the tip and 30 – 35 knots of wind. All the fishing boats have come in so we are now pinned down by the weather. One fishing boat had just been put back into the water and as he went past us he was throwing all his rubbish overboard – we were not impressed. We have all our chain out and feel quite safe here. A huge wind with blinding rain came up about 5.30 – one of the boats further in dragged and had to reanchor. We were pretty snug.

Monday 30 July – Kudat
We had a bit of a swell throwing back off one of the breakwalls this morning and it is still terribly windy. Dont want to leave the boat while this weather persists so filling in time. Hoping to get away Thursday or Friday at the latest. Rubicon Star came over to visit.

Tuesday 31 July – Kudat
Blew all day and we stayed on board. The skipper doing sudokos, me Jewel Quest – very addictive!

Wednesday 1 August – Kudat
The skipper went to the market at 8am and got meat and fruit and by 10.30 it was blowing hard again. Dropped off a bit in the afternoon and Kind of Blue came to visit and Haven said hullo in passing. About 5.30 Rubicon Star called up and invited us over for sundowners and the sun went down very late that night!!!

Thursday 2 August – Kudat – Pulau Banggi
07⁰06.803N / 117⁰05.376E
A fishing boat went past us with a rooster standing up the back of the boat crowing. Checked the weather and it seems to be on the improve so we left at 8am (Haven had already left) and motor sailed to Pulau Molleangan Besar (07⁰05.054N/ 117⁰03.818E) and anchored. As we approached Molleagan Island it got really rough and we were surfing down waves – seemed to be wind against tide – didn’t last for long and it was really odd. The beach looked lovely and there were tourists on the beach. The only trouble for them was that it was an extremely high tide and there was hardly any beach and the trees had thorns on them. We took Bob ashore just as they were leaving. Tim off Rubicon Star had told us about Basheer who is the tour operator who brings the tourists out and he drops them on the beach and goes fishing then picks them up later in the day. Basheer introduced himself and told us to come to the town. It was getting windy again so we just had a swim then went back to the boat. There was a swell coming in and it was getting rolly so we decided to go down and anchor off the town. The town is a Muslim village – lots of stilt houses over the water, a big mosque and some large flash buildings up the hill The people are very friendly. It was pretty blowy but at least here we are facing into the swell but we have reef directly behind us. Brother Wind cam in and anchored nearby. We had a huge wind storm 40 knots with little rain but it died down eventually and we had a quiet uneventful night. So interesting to watch a village at work. A very low tide so children exploring and playing in the shallows and stacks of monkeys looking for food where the tide had gone out. Some houses haul their boats out of the water and hang them under their houses. A big fish leapt out of the water just beside the boat.
Miles: 18 TTT: 300

Friday 3 August – Pulau Banggi – Sungai Tadian
06⁰32.969N / 117⁰36.329E
Call to prayer was at 4.30am. Left at 6.30 and got out past the reef and the chartplotter stopped working. Luckily (or unluckily depending how you look at it) we had this problem last year so the skipper did a factory reset and back it came – minus all the waypoints we had put in to come home! Motor sailed for a while then just motoring following the shipping channel through the reefs, shallows and islands. A lovely day with calm sea but a long day of motor sailing. Took our shortcut through the reef but it was awfully rough going up to the channel and it takes ages to get in and out so we went a bit further up the coast and anchored about two miles off shore. We dropped anchor and the boat didn’t know which way to go so we dropped again and we eventually came around to face the wind and the chop. A while later we were sitting on the deck looking at the shore when the skipper went to turn the chart plotter off and realised that we had dragged 0.6 of a mile!! So we went up and reanchored and this time we stayed put.
Miles: 54 TTT: 354

Well it seems that we are on our way. Tomorrow we head south and stay that way till we get home.

Love to you all – thinking of you, especially Maureen.

Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter